From the President: More Than a Slogan

Date Published

April 1, 2017

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Published by Jul Medenblik


President’s Note:

Dr. John Cooper is completing nine consecutive years of service on the Forum Editorial Committee. In this role, he has always sought to bridge the conversation between the church and the academy. Dr. Cooper, along with Dr. Dean Deppe, is retiring at the end of this academic year, and both are highlighted in this issue of the Forum. Please join us in giving thanks for the ministry of Professors Cooper and Deppe. 

2017 marks the 500th anniversary from October 31, 1517, the date when Martin Luther nailed the Ninety-five Theses to the church door in Wittenberg, Germany. That date marks the launching of what later became identified as the Protestant Reformation. This anniversary is a time for reflection, thanksgiving, lament, and commemoration.

How do you summarize something that happened 500 years ago that still shapes conversations and cultures?

One summary is what became the “Five Solas” of the Protestant Reformation.

The Five Solas are five Latin phrases (or slogans) that summarize the Reformers’ basic theological principles in contrast to certain teachings of the Roman Catholic Church of that day.

“Sola” is Latin meaning “alone” or “only” and the corresponding phrases are:

Sola Fide by faith alone.

Sola Scriptura by Scripture alone.

Solo Christo through Christ alone.

Sola Gratia by grace alone.

Soli Deo Gloria glory to God alone.

This Forum is dedicated to helping us see these slogans as more than a type of “bumper sticker” theology. There is a history and a hope to each of the phrases that our authors seek to illumine for the church of today. May these articles help us join the conversation and the commemoration!


By Jul Medenblik 


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